How to Use a Treadmill

Are you wondering how to use a treadmill? If you’re using a treadmill for the first time, it can be intimidating.  By starting slowly and gradually building up your endurance, you’ll find that this machine can help you further your fitness goals, no matter what shape you’re in.

Get Comfortable

First of all, when getting on the treadmill for the first time, be sure it’s turned off.  Step onto it and place each foot on the frame on either side of the belt. Familiarize yourself with the console.  It will help you understand the capabilities of the treadmill, how to adjust the speed and incline, how to set programs and how to set the timer. Identify the emergency stop button, in case you need to stop suddenly. If you just turn the treadmill off, the belt will come to a gradual stop. By hitting the emergency stop button, the belt stops immediately.

Start Walking

Once you are comfortable with the controls, turn the treadmill on to the lowest setting. The belt will begin moving slowly. While holding the handrails, place one foot on the belt, immediately followed by the other, and begin walking.  When you’re comfortable with the mechanics of the movements, slowly increase the speed on the console until you’re moving at a normal pace.

To reap the full benefits of this exercise, be sure to stand up straight and avoid leaning on the handrails. Lift each foot completely off the belt and strike firmly, in a smooth heel to toe motion. Over time, you may find that you’re comfortable letting go of the rails and allowing your arms to swing in a natural motion.  This will help you get the most efficient workout. 

Speed

Increasing the speed on the treadmill will help you condition your cardiovascular system and build your endurance.  By alternating between a slow speed, like a walk, to a faster speed, like a jog, you’ll help burn calories more effectively. Intervals like this help adjust your metabolism and provide superior fat burning. 

Incline

To tone muscle and intensify your workout, increase the incline on your treadmill. This will cause the deck to slant upward between one degree and fifteen degrees, depending on the type of treadmill you’re using. The greater the incline, the more difficult your workout will be. By exercising with this feature, not only will you help improve your cardiovascular fitness, but you’ll also strengthen the muscles in your calves, thighs and glutes. 

Variety

The treadmill is among the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment you can use. You can get a light, gentle workout or a vigorous one. You can use it for a casual walk or for marathon training. If you’re new to working out, the treadmill is a great place to start, since it’s great for beginners and experts alike. Many offer built in programs that automatically adjust the speed and incline in order to reach a specific fitness target, such as burning a set number of calories, or covering a predetermined distance. This is one machine that helps keep boredom at bay, while helping you realize your health goals.

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